Our 2016 Feger Family Live Portrait Christmas Card

Merry Christmas from our Family! I’ve been doing a couple of Live Portraits for clients who want to stand out. Sometimes they want the Live Portrait up on the wall in their home, and sometimes they want it on a business card or graduation announcement. It’s the perfect complement to a full photo session. A typical live portrait will combine photos and video of the session. For our Christmas card, I really wanted it to be a part of the card. The trick was to make the card where it would still be awesome for the [majority of] people who do not download the free Live Portrait app. I think some people may be worried there’s a catch to the app or that I’ll put them on some phone list or something. Nope, no catch.

2016-meaningimage to pinterestOur cards are always a little funny, often punny, and have gotten a little out of hand some years. (See for yourself here.) So I wanted to get back to the actual real meaning of Christmas. When my husband and I were brainstorming for our card and I told him that I had 2 requirements:

1) I wanted wanted to somehow incorporate the true meaning of Christmas as well

2) I wanted to incorporate a Live Portrait.

He had the brilliant idea of saying the true MEME-ing of Christmas for the back side of the card. We could easily come up with a Christmas meme for our family! The hard part would be putting the real Christmas meaning of Christmas onto the front in a photo. The video was the perfect way to cram many different scenes of how our family does service and attempts to be a little light of the Christmas spirit.

I borrowed the big Bible from my mom since it reminds me most of Christmas. Ever since I was a kid, we would light a candle and watch it burn down to the next line each night while we read a different scripture story about Jesus’ life in its dim light. My mom had an advent list that would say each night’s reading. We also did an angel tree, gave to the Salvation Army bucket, performed Christmas music at the VA hospital and at another assisted living facility, pondered the First Christmas with our nativity scenes, followed our church’s #LIGHTtheWORLD advent ideas each day with the 25 ways to be the light over 25 days, etc. I had planned on having only hints of the sound come through the video but the main audio would be Steven reading the Christmas story from the big bible. I was going to record his voice separately after the kids went to bed one night, but when the video was complete and I was ready to record it, he watched the video and said it was fine without his voice. I really hadn’t hardly listened to the clips and did them based on visuals, but when I watched and listened, I figured it WOULD be nice to call it done. So it was. It was really hard condensing everything down into the max 90 seconds, but less is more. It’s already more of a commitment than reading a lengthy Christmas letter is! Watch the video below or click here to see the live portrait that shows up inside of the cover photo.

Here is the video.

2016-meme-snowmanimage to pinterestHere is the main kids snowman video on the inside.

It was hard fitting the kids’ memes on the back of a flat card. So at the last minute, I found a card that would be double a 5×7 and would have a good lay out so these memes could be a little bigger. Click on each kids’s name here for their video link if you can not scan a computer screen with the Live Portrait app on your phone. Dylan, Isaac, Tyler, Julia.

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  • meaning-card-outsideimage to pinterestSteven and I both had very different ideas for our our card but we both really disliked the other’s. That’s how it is every year.
  • We really are allergic to cats.
  • I gave the boys early Christmas gifts and this was their actual reactions.
  • Tyler really is hanging on lights and really does climb/swing on anything.
  • Julia was so happy to wear her bow crown and decorate/eat/get messy with frosting.
  • The snowman is made with spray adhesive-sprayed Styrofoam balls that were rolled in sand.
  • We also went to church every Sunday in our Christmas clothes but didn’t get videos of it.
  • And the kids sang there too.
  • I took a photo of a chandelier for the Bokah background paper.

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I’ve been taking this family’s Christmas card photos each year and this year they wanted to include the Live Portrait option. We went back to the Botanical Gardens to attempt to recreate a specific favorite photo from a couple years back. (Ironically since we saved it for last it didn’t turn out.) But they got something even better, a video montage Live Portrait from their session. It showcases their family’s love, playfullness, silliness, sweetness, and brings back the fun of this session. They have a large print on their wall and the mom told me that any time life gets stressful or if the kids are not being perfect, she look at that picture and, with the app, see how wonderful her family truly is.

This is the print she chose to be the Live Portrait. If you would like a Live Portrait session, book early. I only do one/month since they are so involved (and awesome!)

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This is their live portrait video which is magically inside each print of their family portrait.

Look at this perfect pretty baby belly! She wore this dress exactly 1 year ago for their wedding weekend. I love the tradition her husband started of them taking couples photos for their anniversary. I call this “Baby Bump Bling” since her dress, her husband, her ring, her perfect baby, are all so pretty!w-0005image to pinterest

 

 

We wanted a photo that would show their rings, their love after the first year of marriage, and the baby bump. I love this one!
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Her husband called me the day before to see if it was even possible to do a session at their hotel, the Sand Pearl Resort here on Clearwater Beach, since he had made dinner reservations there for their anniversary. That’s where they got married last year. He wanted it to be a surprise so I helped him with outfits. He said he knew she’d be dressed for dinner so that might be good enough. I asked if she was comfortable showing her belly and he said she would be. I had some wraps and skirts and accessories just in case, and it all worked out beautifully! I love how relaxed the were. No stress, just beautiful lovely beachy happiness:)

Going to the pumpkin patches is different once you are a parent. I noticed it with my own baby boy a decade ago but it wasn’t until I saw my little brother’s family pumpkin patch photo with his little baby girl that it hit me that he’s actually a daddy. That first year, you want to dress your baby up like a pumpkin get a beautiful photo at the patch. So yes, take your baby all dressed like pumpkin for that photo, but this is like the easiest holiday so here are ways to keep it stress free.w-julia-pumpkinimage to pinterest
1) First, pumpkin patches are free, but buy something. Pumpkins may be cheaper at Wal-mart, but the patches are usually a fund raiser run by volunteers. So even if you’re going back as a family to get “the one,” get at least a baby one each time you visit.
img_3563a2) After that newborn orange pumpkin photo, try dressing your kids in green, purple, or black! Green is my fav contrasting color for patches.
At first glance did you notice that Julia is holding an orange sucker in this photo? (Probably. It’s Halloween, so it’s socially acceptable to bribe your kids with candy for photos.) But did you notice she’s holding a little pumpkin at first? Maybe not. Because Orange on Orange is not interesting. (That’s why I chose this photo from last year real quick for this post.) 
3) Go to lots of pumpkin patches. When you see one, stop in right then! Your phone has a camera! Capture the fun of discovery instead of the perfect photo this time. And go another time when you plan it if you want.
4) Photos of the kids discovering/picking/choosing are so sweet. Let them do their thing! Then just attempt one family (or kids) photo on the hay bails or props. Don’t stress. Don’t worry, it’s not going to be on your Christmas card but it will be a fun tradition and silly little memory.
5) If you want photos of your kids in costumes, do a trial BEFORE Halloween at a pumpkin patch when it’s daylight so the stress of trick-or-treating when nap times are messed up and the kids have already had way too much sugar because of school parties is not a factor. I say don’t try to do both fall photos AND costume photos at once because there will be no time for enjoyment. You live close to a patch, so make 2 trips. Take photo, so even if best friends/grandparents can’t go with you, you’ll have a photo or two! 
6) Use the pumpkins as props and to prop up your baby, but be respectful of them. (Don’t step on the palates yourself and don’t pick up pumpkins by the stems no matter how tempting.
7) The best local patch that I’ve found is the one at Clearview United Methodist Church on 39th Ave N, east of 49th St. N. in St. Pete.
8) For taking photos, in Florida, it can be really hot out and the sunshine on the orange color is not pretty to me, so the above patch has shade in the day! Others are good in the evening as far as lighting, but that’s when families go because both parents are off of work and kids are out of school, so it will be more crowded then. Open shade in the morning or afternoon are the best times to go if you ask me!

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2016 Holiday Mini Sessions are here!

School has started (then stopped for the Hurricaine Hermine here in the gulf beaches of Florida) and with school comes the wonderful fall season and the holidays and all of the planning and parties and fun of this time of year. It’s time to schedule the annual portraits for the family (or sometimes just kids).

The mini sessions are limited to short fun times with a handful of quality portraits for your home, gifts and, my favorite, Christmas Cards!

I have opened one day, Saturday October 15th 2016. The first person to book will get to choose the location so email me now!

*Update: The morning will be at Seminole City Park. 

The evening is at the Largo Botanical Gardens. 

Email me at tiffanyfeger@yahoo.com to schedule your time.

Checking off “booking the photographer” off of your list will honestly make this fall season come together quite nicely. I’m here to help with what to wear and how to go about doing your holiday cards.

Click Here to pay in full or to pay the $100 deposit to secure your time.